Update #7 - The "unsexy" backend update


Greetings intrepid OPers!

It's Friday, which means that as promised, it's time for the weekly update post on what has been going on behind the scenes. This particular post will cover roughly the last month rather than the last week since I have scrapped my previous plan of a larger blog post concept and reverted back to the better-for-the-community weekly forum topics. So, without further delay, let's get into it.

What's Been Going On?

[1] Site Stability Stuff

The work on fixes, features and bugs that had been taking place (as seen in the previous weekly updates) had to be put on hold temporarily due to the re-emergence of malware and bot activity on the forums. This required various updates and fixes to implement bot mitigation that would prevent these malicious activities and keep the site safe from the wild trolls of the web. While this doesn't sound like a lot initially, it's a bit more of an involved process, since it takes examining the modes of infiltration and attack, doing appropriate research, testing fixes, and finally rolling them out.

This process is finally wrapping up and is due to be completed, which will allow other work to resume as it had been prior to the interruption.

[2] AWS Migration

The task of migrating the forums and blog over to AWS has begun (and should be wrapped up by end of next week). This move will put all of Obsidian Portal in "one" place, and should also add additional security to the stability fixes that have been enacted. Migration is always a serious matter that must be done carefully, and it takes a significant amount of lead up and prep work to ensure that it goes smoothly. The upsides are good: the flexibility, scalability and reliability of AWS are well worth the effort, and will increase site stability.

[3] Sign offs and Roadmap

While actual work on fixes, features and bugs had to be stalled, the planning and ironing out of the roadmap for the upcoming development cycle was not impacted. The plan is now together and the appropriate sign offs for upcoming bug fixes and the like are completed. Examples on bugs and problems to be addressed include, but are not necessarily limited to: email deliverability, interactive maps, tag searching and functionality on mobile.

[4] Getting the new community manager up and rolling

Like the Death Star, there's been some work involved in getting me "fully armed and operational" as it were. Each week has brought new challenges and responsibilities, but it's finally coming together. Look out Alderaan!

[5] Front Facing / Nuts and Bolts

Some of the more routine or mundane tasks that were behind or not being kept up on have been reassigned, and as such these are now being completed once again. Examples include:

  • Campaign of the Month Process - The Campaigns page has been brought up to date with the missing CotM winners, and all associated badges have been awarded. Obviously we're still behind on CotY and there hasn't been a CotM since December, but this too shall be addressed. Vacant committee seats are being filled, and CotM will be ramping up once more in the reasonably near future.

  • Game systems - Requested game systems are finally back to being added to the site. Recent additions include: Genesys, Firefly, Starfinder, and Coriolis: The Third Horizon. This is something that has been missing for a while now, and it's great to have it back.

  • DST review/approval - Another item that has been addressed and is now back in action, we should all begin reaping the benefits of new sheets as time goes on.

Well, that'll about do it for this post. I tried to keep it reasonable to read while covering everything to at least some degree. If you have any additional questions or concerns, post here. Outside of that, more updates to follow next Friday.

All the best,
- Kallak

Inner Council Member
CotM Selection Committee
Writer/Editor - Words In The Dark
Obsidian Portal Community and Content Manager
GameMaster - Crucible of the Blacksoul (CotM for Jan. 2013)


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